Monday, 28 October 2013

Cornish Stew - Warming Winter Food in Cornwall

Cornish Food in Winter

Winter warming food is important in any culture, but when you live by the sea, live off the land and have to deal with ferocious storms and weather patterns in winter - the idea of well cooked, hearty fresh food is even more important. High in calories and protein, a lot of stews, casseroles and other Cornish stew based foods are rich and made for hard working and hard working local families.

Cornish Stew is essentially what you’d buy for pasties…

- Chuck Steak
- Swede
- Onion
- Potatoes
- Carrots
- White Pepper

Chuck it all in together - a bit of stock - and away you go. Check it after 40 minutes or so, but consider leaving it at least a couple of hours to really make a difference with the flavour.

As has been well broadcast, Cornwall is enjoying a bit of a culinary and cultural revolution when it comes to the types of food and drink people consume locally – not just those on holiday. 

Events like the Truro Christmas Market really showcase what Cornwall has to offer the country in terms of food and drink. It comes from the basis of a craft - Cornwall's food industry is burgeoning and grassroots - and is attracting a lot of attention.

Although earthy, fresh ingredients (like those in the aforementioned Cornish Stew) forms the basis of the food created here, it isn't always so utilitarian. The fishing industry in some areas has seen a resurgence - Nathan Outlaw has published this great Cornish pollack, squid and mussel stew on the BBC Good Food Website:

Cornish Stew

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

5 Cosiest Places in Cornwall This Winter

As readers of this blog will know, we are pretty big fans here in Cornwall of finding the alternative stay...the off the beaten track route or the cosy retreat no-one else knows about. In part it’s what makes this part of the world so special - here are 5 places in Cornwall that are always going to stay cosy no matter how much wind and rain is thrown at them.

The Engine Inn

The coast road between St Ives and Lands End is famed the world over for its beauty and sense of isolation. One of the most remote pubs along the route in the region is the Engine Inn...and you can be guaranteed of a cosy local atmosphere, a roaring fire and a few lazy dogs rain or shine. In fact, the pub is at its most special during the off months as the tranquility of the region comes in to focus. Well worth a visit. 

A Cottage in St Ives

We're lucky at Cornish Secrets to have a number of St Ives cottages available during the quieter seasons. Although common belief is that much of the region closes down for the winter, it is becoming increasingly common to come across a thriving local scene in St Ives and many of the amenities, bars, pubs and restaurants stay open. There's nothing quite like coming back home to a warm Cornish cottage after a day out.

A Winter Spa Treatment

Visiting a spa retreat in Cornwall is very much a winter thing. The warm pools, hot tubs, jacuzzis and spas are open all year round, and provide a fantastic respite from the cold and the effects of the great outdoors. Twinning a trip to Cornwall with a spa break is becoming increasingly popular, and there are many places such as.....

A Long Beach Walk (Followed by a Cuppa….) Although we've already mentioned this in a previous post, we genuinely do think that walking on the beach in winter, as long as you're wrapped up, is one of the cosiest things to do. Sitting wind burnt in the car afterwards with a flask of tea and an 'everything is alright in the world' grin is a feeling not to be missed.

A Fantastic Meal Whether it’s in a pub, a fancy restaurant or like most people, somewhere in the middle - going for a great meal in winter is both life affirming and as enjoyable as anything else you could do. As you know Cornwall has a wonderful reputation for excellent food and the majority of it now is locally sources...sometimes even fresh during the winter. Hats off to the fisherman!

Nathan Outlaw

...and if you're not convinced, how about this video from Visit Cornwall....

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

10 Places in Cornwall You'd Rather be Now

There’s going to be hundreds of places we’ve missed out here - but let us know! Contact us on Twitter, Google + or Facebook and let us know where we need to include!

Godrevy Beach

This place at Sunset. That’s all

Godrevy Hayle Cornwall

The Watering Hole - Perranporth

The Watering Hole Perranporth Cornwall

The thought of a bar on the beach better than sitting in the office? Thought so


Pendeen Cornwall

Exploring the cobbled streets of St Ives

St Ives Cornwall

Mustard & Rye, Truro

Stylish Burgers a la Patty & Bun. Definitely worth a visit

Mustard & Rye

Taking a trip to the Isles of Scilly

Scillonian III

Surfing at Sennen

Surfing Sennen

Floating down the river from Truro to Falmouth

River Fal

Exploring the abundance of wilderness

Bodmin Moor

Strolling around one of the famous great gardens of Cornwall


Sunday, 22 September 2013

5 Ways to Enjoy Autumn in Cornwall

So here we are - the end of what seems like a lovely Summer...many people have returned home, the days are getting shorter and the inevitable cold, long winter is looming ever closer. Never fear however - Cornwall is arguably at its most enigmatic and beautiful during the Autumn, and there is a plethora of things to get involved with that wouldn’t ordinarily be possible during the peak of the season. Here are 5 ways to enjoy the Autumn in Cornwall.

Long, Isolated Beach Walks

Long stretches of sand are perhaps best in Cornwall when the wind is blowing, the mist is looming and the place is as empty and remote as it comes. The sun is low in the sky and being wrapped up against the cost is perhaps the most enjoyable thing to do at this time of year….

Explore Cornwall’s Cafes

Cornwall has a thriving Cafe scene, and a lot of these are warm, comfortable and cosy affairs which are perfect for the Autumn.

Visit a Cornish Pub

Along the same lines, but this time with alcohol….Cornwall’s pubs are some of the best in the south west. Sit in a pub by the coast, in the dark, and relive stories of pirates, shipwrecks and hauntings.

Museums and Galleries

With less crowds, Autumn is perfect time to visit indoor spaces in Cornwall and sample what artistic endeavours the county has to offer. From the obvious Tate gallery to the more small time affair, many galleries in Cornwall now enjoy their most successful periods out of season.

Visit a Garden

Many gardens in Cornwall are great to visit in Autumn. They will stay open well into the season and still offer a wide variety of plants and trees in their prime. Expect Japanese Maples, Hazels, Ginger Lilies and other exotic varieties. Many gardens now also host events out of season such as plays, gigs and open-air cinema screenings.

There are now many more things open till late in the season or all year round in Cornwall - if you would like suggestions on what to do or need accommodation options for this time of year, do not hesitate to contact us and we will put you in touch with our local knowledge!

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

The Ultimate Romantic Retreats in West Cornwall

Sometimes there is nowhere better than the coast and beaches of Cornwall to get you in the romantic spirit. Forget luxury weekends away and cheap city breaks, real romance is all about getting out into the great outdoors and spending quality time with your better half. Here are some of the most romantic retreats in Cornwall to think about this summer.

Penhale Campsite, Fowey

Although Penhale is a large campsite which accommodates a wide range of solutions from small tents to motorhomes, there’s always a good chance you’ll be able to find a secluded spot at the bottom of the field for the two of you. The view is fantastic, and Fowey itself is full of wonderful restaurants, pubs and nearby beaches and walks to explore.

Arndale Cottage in Mousehole is about as cosy as you’re likely to get when it comes to fisherman’s cottages. Nestled in a beautiful spot amongst the village, Mousehole is a great place to get away from it all. The cottage is fantastically equipped too, and provides real luxury with a subtle and easy-going approach!

This might not be as cosy, down to earth or rustic as a campsite or a small cottage, but it certainly is located in a fantastic area and provides fantastic facilities for couples. Enjoy the bar and Flying Fish Restaurant, as well as the Spa and the choice of a wide range of excellent and superbly equipped rooms.

On top of a hill near St. Ives is the stunning Escape Podz, a wonderful dome-structured accommodation which provides a cutting-edge yet cosy retreat with a decking area and amazing views across the sea. It’s a beautiful location and a truly unique piece of architecture - and is something that is very likely to inspire.

West Place House is contemporary in feel and makes use of the abundance of natural light which St. Ives is so famous for. The clean lines and minimalist approach features a number of unique styles, and what’s more there is a stairway leading to an electric glass roof hatch and a rooftop terrace. With a perfect sea view, there can’t be many better places to enjoy time with your partner.

Of course, Cornwall as a place lends itself to escaping with your partner and getting away, whether it be for a weekend or a fortnight’s break. There’s an abundance of romantic retreats in the South West, however if any of the above take your fancy click on any of the links above to be taken to the website, or alternatively contact Cornish Secrets and let us do all the hard work for you!

T: 01736 798745

Friday, 26 July 2013

Infographic: Cornwall Then & Now

Cornwall - Then & Now - An infographic by the team at Cornish Secrets

Embed Cornwall - Then & Now on Your Site: Copy and Paste the Code Below

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

5 Reasons to Live Remote

Visitors to Cornwall often say that one day they’d love to come back to live here. The sea air, the countryside, the close communities and fantastic culture lure people to get away from it all and live a remote life in the country. There are many things to consider, however rarely do we collectively sit back and admire the things that really make ‘living remote’ and getting away from it all one of the best decisions people make

Freedom to Build

It goes without saying that remote areas have more land and more space to extend and build. This option is great for people who want to develop and can imagine a dream home but need space to build it.


It can’t be underestimated how important outdoor space is to the human psyche. People don’t function well when there’s no outdoor space, and if you live in a remote area, your sense of well being is almost guaranteed to be higher...which leads us onto our next point...

Outdoor Air

Who has ever stood in a city and thought; ‘I need more of this smog!’ Again, many people in cities won’t admit to this, but having fresh unaffected air is so important when it comes to a general sense of well being and healthiness. Living in a remote area will give you this.

File:Iona Island - View of Baile Mòr and the abbey.jpeg

Recreational Activities

Although remote areas are quite often a world away from a choice of theatres, galleries, cinemas and nightlife, they come with their own activities. Sports are of course popular, but activities such as orienteering, rock climbing, sailing, paragliding and hiking are all things that can be done in the fresh air

Freelance Work

Tired of being a conventional office worker? Many people these days are tired of the 9-5, and it shows in the amount who are leaving the city and deciding to live a remote life. With fantastic internet connection almost everywhere (and with fibre-optic cable being rolled out across the country) it’s easier than ever to work and live remotely. There are now lots of different ways to make money.

Cornish Secrets provide beautiful and luxurious Cornish Cottages in a variety of tranquil and relatively remote locations across the county. If you’re looking for a break and a chance to get away from it all, contact us today to find out more.

File:Panorama St Just in Penwirth.png

Friday, 7 June 2013

5 Cornish Walks for the Summer

When the sun's out and you're in Cornwall, the natural reaction is to be outside. Whether that's on the beach, in the garden or on one of the many stunning coastal walks the county has to offer. Here are Cornish Secret's guide to give of the best easy walks you can do to pass an afternoon.

Lizard Coast Walk

Brilliant views stretching out to Cornwall's southern most point - hidden gems such as Kynance Cover and Cadgwith can be found along the route


This part of the world is famed for storing huge ships - the Fal and Helford river area is a beautiful, tranquil, Wind In the Willows style part of Cornwall..and the walk from Trelissick to Roundwood Quay emphasises this. 

St. Ives to St. Just

A favourite for many in the far west of the County - the St. Ives to St. Just segment of the South West Coastal path is the best bit of rugged Cornwall you can get


The area around Fowey was not only made famous by Daphne Du Maurier - the coastal scenery here is stunning and the perfect romantic escape. If you go anywhere near Polkerris beach, be sure to stop by Sam's on the Beach

Hayle / Gwithian Beach

So we might be coming back to this again - but the area around Hayle's estuary and 3 mile of Golden Sands can't be written off. It's a great, accessible location and some of the most beautiful sand you're likely to see.

Here at Cornish Secrets we can provide luxury Cornish holiday cottages to suit a range of needs in a variety of locations. Contact us today for more information and to quiz us on what's best for you! Why not have a look at some of our favourite Cornish beaches for information about where to stop off during your walks.

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Saturday, 1 June 2013

5 Tips for Camping in Cornwall

Camping in Cornwall can be a fantastic experience. There's a huge variety of countryside and coastline to choose from, and many small campsites along the way with friendly owners and excellent facilities. Here's our guide to camping in Cornwall, and 5 tips to make sure you have the perfect tented getaway.

Choose Somewhere You Can Walk to

There's a great sense of liberation when you visit a campsite but don't have to use the car. Some of the best campsites are in areas you can walk to shops, pubs, restaurants and of course the beach. It's worth paying a bit more for a prime location to allow you really get the sense of being 'away from it all'.

Don't Worry About the Weather

Tents are so good these days, that even the cheapest of the bunch (as long as you put it up properly!) remains waterproof and dry. Sometime the weather in Cornwall can  be damp and the ground wet - but don't let this put you off - as long as you see some sun a great time will be had by all

Choose a Small Site

There's nothing better than pitching up in a field, on a summer's evening, opening a beer and watching the sun go down. There's a growing trend for rustic, small scale sites. Make the most of it by visiting somewhere with fewer facilities down a country'll make so much sense when you get the tent up and sit in the peace and quiet!

glamping cornwall

Camping With Kids

If you have kids, camping is a great way to let them experience the back-to-basics nature of a Cornish holiday and allow them to explore the countryside. Imaginations can run wild, and it's a great way of introducing kids to alternative holidays

Bring Some Mates

If the sun's out, you have some music on, the view is spectacular and you're only a couple of minutes walk from a fantastic beach...what's not to like? Camping with some friends can be a truly humbling experience and remind you of the important things in's great fun and allows you to escape from your day-to-day life and routine.

So here are 5 tips for making the best out of your camping experience in Cornwall. Cornish Secrets offer fantastic alternative stays which also include camping pods and retro caravan experiences. Contact us today to find out more

glamping cornwall

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

5 Must Visit Beaches in Cornwall

It’s come to the time of year when people naturally think about the beach in Cornwall. It’s bred into the county’s psyche, and visitors to the area really only come here for one thing - the coastline. We are lucky in Cornwall to have some of the best beaches and coastline in the country, and Cornish Secrets have compiled a list of 5 ‘out the way’ beautiful beaches which are must visits if you’re in the area.

Porth Chapel

One of the most beautiful beaches in this part of Cornwall. Parking in the church at St. Levan, it’s a short walk and then a decent scramble down to the beach itself - but it’s more than worth it. A secluded sunspot which is perfect for swimming, it’s become busier in recent years but is still relatively unspoiled.


The next cove along from Porthchapel is Porthgwarra, which is a privately owned beach and slipway which the public are free to use. Swimming is safe, and the small beach is a quiet haven along this part of the coastline and away from the tourist meccas of the Minack and Porthcurno

Kynance Cove - The Lizard

Kynance Cove is jaw dropping not just because of the quality of the beach but because of the scale of the cliffs around it. It’s one of the prettiest coves in the region and is dominated by huge rock formations - being able to see transoceanic liners and cargo ships in the distance also adds to the romanticism and sense of being somewhere very unique indeed.

Pollyjoke - Newquay

One of Newquay’s quieter beaches, and a real gem in this part of the world. It’s large, has fantastic campsites nearby and offers beautiful sand which you’re almost guaranteed to find a space on. A bit of a walk from nearby car parks, but well worth it.

Godrevy Beach

Okay, this might be a bit of a personal addition, but I don’t think many things can beat Godrevy Beach and the view of its lighthouse from the cliffs at sunset. It’s National Trust, and a bit busy, but if you can catch it on a perfect evening with nothing but barbeque’s and VW campers - there’s nowhere quite like it.

Cornish Secrets offer a variety of luxury Cornish cottages to suit a variety of needs - many of which are a stone’s throw from these beaches. Contact us today to find out more.